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RNE Generates 1,400+ Streams with Ferncast

With Spanish radio listening increasingly via the Internet, a new solution was needed to keep pace

A schematic of the aixtream workflow at RNE. (Courtesy Ferncast)

From our “Who’s Buying What” page … With radio listening in Spain spreading across multiple platforms, broadcasters have to find innovative ways to get their programs to listeners’ ears.

In its report “La evoluciÓN de la radio: el momento del audio,” communications consultancy dentsu found that traditional over-the-air listening to radio had dropped 11.6% from 2011 to 2021. However, listeners were mostly shifting how they listened to radio, not abandoning the medium entirely.

The report found a 212.6% increase in the number of Spaniards listening via online platforms, including podcasts, giving radio a total penetration of 54.6% in Spain.

For national public service broadcaster Radio Nacional de España, this reality means finding an efficient way to get all 128 of its programs output to different streaming platforms. To make its programs available on the web, mobile apps, and smart speakers and TVs, the broadcaster must generate more than 1,400 local and national radio streams using various encoding schemes and at multiple bitrates.

At the beginning of 2023, RNE rolled out a Ferncast GmbH aixtream software system on four servers to handle demuxing of its multprogram MPEG transport stream. Star Comunicaciones, the Ferncast distributor in Spain, handled the installation.

“Once the customer defined their real needs, it was quite easy for us as consultants to implement the solution,” stated. Manuel Ángel García, commercial technician at Star Comunicaciones. “… the enormous flexibility and capacity of the solution made it possible for us to successfully solve some non-trivial issues the customer was dealing with before.”

According to Ferncast, the aixtream software greatly streamlined the workflow for RNE’s internet radio department, reducing its overall workload and improving reliably. The project was setup as a service, so Ferncast handles most of the day-to-day monitoring of streams with an automatic email system keeping RNE informed.

This project was the first aixtream installation to require the implementation of a demux input, which is now also used for projects requiring DVB and DAB/FM format conversion or monitoring. It was also the first major cooperation in Spain between Ferncast and Star Comunicaciones.

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